Waxing the Skis

For Intermediate Skiers
For Intermediate Skiers
One of the ski-related tasks I have been meaning to take on and do since the close of last ski season is to maintain my skis more diligently, or more like it to maintain them at all.

Last spring I took my first crack at it by sharpening my edges. However, I did not quite have the confidence to keep the edge I put on and took the skis in late fall. However, I discovered that waxing skis and filling in base gouges are easy tasks.

What do you need to wax a pair of skis? Not much, even if you are hot-waxing. You need wax, a rag, a pair of leather gloves, a scraper, at least a stiff nylon bristle brush, an iron, and something to set your skis on. No need to go out and buy a purpose built waxing iron any old clothes iron will do, go to your nearest Goodwill Store and find an iron, preferably on that does not have steaming holes in the base.

Wax Choice

Unless you are a serious ski competitor there is no need to put too much thought into what wax to get. Wax choice can be complicated, factoring in air temperature, snow pack temperature, snow age, snow composition (artificial vs. natural), snow granularity, air humidity, water content of the snow pack and on and on. However, just go by air temperature and get a set of waxes to cover the likely temperatures you will be skiing in. Also there is no need to max out on high-tech waxes which also tend to be very high cost waxes.

Brush the Skis

Put your skis bindings down on the work surface you have (I used a pair of sawhorses) and inspect your bases. If there are no gouges give your skis a good wiping off in fact some people say to brush them off with a rough bronze brush. Always work your ski bases from TIP to TAIL.

Melt the Wax

Next plug in and turn on the iron, I find a setting of about 2 or just below the wool setting worked just fine. Now touch a cake of the wax onto the iron over your ski bases and drip the wax onto your ski bases. No need to create a massive lake of wax on your bases small drops go a long way, again drip the wax from tip to tail.

Spread the Wax

When your trail of drips is set put the wax cake down, return to the tips of your skis and now act as if you are ironing clothes. Get the wax drips to melt and work the iron to spread the wax out over the base of your ski. Work tip to tail.

Let the Wax Cool and Set

Now, turn off your iron and set it down and go find something else to do. I don’t think it has to be too long, about fifteen minutes or so. Return to your skis and now scrape off the excess wax, again work from tip to tail. Use the rag and your eyes to make sure excess wax is removed from your bases. Once the wax is removed, use the nylon bristle brush (one source says to use a smooth bronze or steel brush first) to further finish off the bases, again work from tip to tail.

I have seen it suggested to use some fine polishing cloth after this step

Even if you do not go through the extra steps and extra passes with different brushes you will have a better skiing experience.

Good Stuff!

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